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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335298

Research Project: Genetic Improvement Of Marine Fish and Shellfish

Location: National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center

Title: Atlantic salmon and eastern oyster breeding programs at the National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center

item Burr, Gary
item Pietrak, Michael
item Proestou, Dina
item Peterson, Brian

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/19/2016
Publication Date: 11/1/2016
Citation: Burr, G.S., Pietrak, M.R., Proestou, D.A., Peterson, B.C. 2016. Atlantic salmon and eastern oyster breeding programs at the National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center. U.S.-Japan Aquaculture Panel Symposium, Seattle, WA.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The USDA-ARS National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center (NCWMAC) focuses on the coldwater marine aquaculture industry's highest priority research needs including development of improved genetic stocks. Coldwater aquaculture production has potential for expansion, and both Atlantic salmon and Eastern oysters are widely accepted by American consumers. Commercial salmon and oyster producers predominantly utilize stocks that are not many generations removed from wild, unselected strains. North America salmon producers are legally required to culture certified stocks of North American salmon. The NCWMAC is the USDA-ARS facility supporting the U.S. coldwater marine aquaculture industry by developing genetically improved salmon stocks for the past thirteen years. Aquaculture of the Eastern oyster is a large segment of shellfish aquaculture in the U.S. and minimal selective breeding has been accomplished. In both species, there is a need to improve the performance of existing stocks. Our research meets this need through the following objectives: 1) define phenotypes, estimate genetic and phenotypic parameters, and develop a selection index in Atlantic salmon for important traits such as carcass weight, cold tolerance, fillet color, fat content, and sea lice resistance; 2) evaluate and validate the usefulness of incorporating genomic information into the salmon breeding program; and 3) establish links between disease susceptible and resistant phenotypes and genotype for the Eastern oyster. Identification of genes associated with oyster disease will provide markers that can be used to enhance and accelerate the development of high-performing oyster lines through selective breeding and will support the East Coast shellfish aquaculture industry. Research accomplished with salmon will result in the development of genetically improved Atlantic salmon for release to U.S. producers and consumers.